Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 2. Department of Revenue

Mediation Of Valuation Disputes -- Centrally Assessed And Industrial Properties

15-1-212. Mediation of valuation disputes -- centrally assessed and industrial properties. (1) For appeals relating to the assessed value of centrally assessed property or industrial property that is assessed annually by the department, the objecting taxpayer may require that all issues raised in the complaint be the subject of a mediation proceeding conducted as provided in 26-1-813. The request for mediation must be accompanied by a fee of $100, payable to the department for deposit in the general fund.

(2) If the taxpayer requests mediation, which must be granted, the request is to be included in the complaint filed with the Montana tax appeal board pursuant to 15-2-302 or, if subsequent to the appeal, upon separate motion to the Montana tax appeal board. If mediation is requested by the taxpayer, the mediation must be conducted no less than 60 days prior to the contested case hearing on all issues raised in the complaint, to be scheduled by the Montana tax appeal board.

(3) The mediation proceeding must be conducted pursuant to 26-1-813 as a private, confidential, and informal dispute resolution. The mediation must be conducted by a person who is not a public employee and must be held at a privately owned facility. Because the mediation proceeding cannot result in a judgment or a compelled agreement, the proceeding is not a governmental operation, and until the dispute between the taxpayer and the department is resolved, either by agreement or through the appeal process, the records of the mediation proceeding may not be disclosed to the public.

(4) Within 45 days after the request for mediation, the mediator must have been selected by the parties and the parties must have scheduled a mediation proceeding unless waived by both parties. A mediation proceeding may not proceed past 120 days without the consent of the objecting taxpayer and the department. Each party is responsible for that party's mediation costs and shall jointly share the costs of the mediator.

(5) A mediator is prohibited from conveying information from one party to another during the mediation unless the source party specifically allows the conveyance of the information.

(6) If the mediation is successful, the department shall value the property that was the subject of the objection as agreed to in the mediation.

(7) If the mediation is unsuccessful, the parties shall proceed to a contested case hearing as scheduled by the Montana tax appeal board.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 419, L. 2013; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 142, L. 2021.